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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:05 PM
Tony74 Tony74 is offline
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Default Am I seeing red flags?

Just curious about this. Maybe it's no big deal and maybe it is. When I have applied to jobs mostly online jobs I rarely get called in for an interview. The very few times I got called in before the employers ever saw me in person, I had this bad feeling in my gut I was not going to get the job. I never showed signs of my discomfort once I got to the job interview. I was holding it in the whole time with a straight face. When I got there I could not help but notice everyone who worked at these places of employment were white. I saw not one african american working in the whole establishment. If I was lucky to see a black person working in the business, that is all there was. A black person meaning there was only one from what I witnessed when I was there for the job interview.

Deep down I felt like I knew exactly what the white person was thinking once they seen me for the first time show up at the interview. I mean my resume looked great for them to call me in for the interview. I am the same person they were interested in based on what they saw on my resume. It was only when saw the person who wrote the resume is what may have threw them off. Yeah the white people that were interviewing me were all polite and smiley face while I was there, but something inside me kept saying this person was thinking once thing. That was "Oh you're a black person." I know I may be getting this wrong, but I am just telling you what I have been feeling deep down for a long time everytime I show up at a job interview which is hardly ever. Are the red flags there if I see all white people working at these places with only a number of black people you can count on one hand not even using all five fingers? I see very little black people working at any white collar profession with the majority being white people. I have yet to go to a job interview and see another minority interviewing me. I am from Alabama, so that is rare to me.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 06:44 AM
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Thuso Thuso is offline
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Default Re: Am I seeing red flags?

Tony,

You are having a 50 year old flashback experience. The discomfort you are feeling is mostly yours. And even though you think you are handling it with a straight face, you are a dead give away. You are telling the interviewer that you are uncomfortable in that environment.

In today's job climate, it is a major accomplishment to get an interview. Most companies reject thousands of applicants sight unseen. If you get an opportunity to talk to a real person face to face, you have got to make the best of that situation. You are not applying for the job of civil rights leader or social activities coordinator on a cruise ship, you are applying to do real work that will make the company more successful. You have to present yourself as a asset they cannot do without. If you don't walk in the door as a positive asset, they won't believe it either.

It seems to me that you are walking in the door waving the red flag. Your gut may be informing you correctly, but you are not there to make friends. Most Black employees don't live near, nor socialize with their white counterparts after work. The only social environment that counts is the one that produces a strong work product. The most valuable asset in that situation is the set of skills you walk in the door with.

You must arrive with the confidence that "I belong here, and I can make a difference." Your body language and dialog will demonstrate that message, or you won't get the job. This is competition at the highest level. There are at least 5 other people who can do the job that you are applying for -- and in some cases 500. You must win the job. There are no entitlements.

I hope this helps to answer your question. I am a retired corporate executive, and I spent most of my 28 year corporate career as the only Black person in the room -- at work and with customers. The only attitude that counts is to walk in the room fully prepared, and comfortable with the knowledge that "I belong here." Anything less, and you lose before the conversation begins.

Good luck!
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Old March 17th, 2012, 01:10 AM
Tony74 Tony74 is offline
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Default Re: Am I seeing red flags?

I admit it. I don't know why I do, but I do get 50 year old flashback when I walk in to these interviews. This does answer my question. Thanks.
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